Consumer Duty has been introduced to change the way companies engage and support customers across the industry.

At Reassured, we support the Consumer Duty and its principle of acting to deliver good customer outcomes for customers.

We want to support our customers in understanding the regulation, how it will impact our business and customers, and also confirm what changes we have made to conform with the new requirements.

What is Consumer Duty?

The Consumer Duty was introduced by the FCA, as a set of regulations, to set a higher and clearer standard of consumer protection across the financial services industry.

The Duty also seeks to ensure that customers receive good outcomes wherever possible and that firms are providing evidence to prove these outcomes are being met.

The new rules apply to all firms who determine or have a material influence over customer outcomes.

As a large UK protection intermediary, we fit into this category.

Our primary purpose is to protect as many lives and families as possible should the worst happen because what we do, matters.

Our Agents tailor their approach to find the right protection to meet the needs and demands of our customers, including those who are vulnerable.

What are good outcomes?

Under the Consumer Duty, firms need to provide customers with products and services that meet their needs and offer fair value.

This further includes the way in which we interact and communicate with our customers, therefore all communications should be easy to understand.

Finally, good outcomes are not just at point of sale, this also includes our after sales process and how we continue to support our customers.

Three Principles of Consumer Duty and what changes we have made

Consumer Duty is made up of three key elements:

  1. A new consumer principle
    Firms must always act to deliver good outcomes for customers
  2. Three core rules
    - Act in good faith towards customers:
     Good faith is defined as a standard of conduct characterised by honesty, fair and openness when dealing and acting with customers
    - Avoid foreseeable harm:
     Firms are only responsible for addressing harm when it is reasonably foreseeable, defined as whether a firm is acting reasonably and would be able to predict or expect a harmful result of their actions or omissions in connection with products and services
    - Enable and support customers to pursue their financial goals:
     This includes acting to empower customers to make informed decisions and choices that are in their best interests by supporting and creating the right environment to do so
  3. Four key customer outcomes
    - Products and services: The design of all products and services continue to meet the needs, characteristics and objectives of the intended target market, and distributed appropriately.
    - Price and value: All products and services provide customers fair value
    - Customer understanding: All communications are understandable and understood by our customers
    - Customer support: All customers can realise the benefits of their product or services

Our response

We have reviewed all of our products and services, customer communications whether written, digital or phone base, and processes to ensure that they comply with the new, making the necessary changes in line with the requirements of the Duty, specifically the four outcomes.

We have also taken careful consideration in reviewing our vulnerable customers process to ensure that they’re appropriately supported.

As a protection intermediary, we have also proactively engaged with the Insurers on our panel so we can ensure that we understand their readiness of meeting the Duty requirements and that our ongoing calibration is evidenced through our regular governance meetings, providing us with an opportunity to identify and discuss any areas that do not support the achievement of good customer outcomes.

This will enable us to demonstrate how we review and monitor good customers outcomes more clearly across the entire customer journey, alongside our own internal customer outcomes MI.

At Reassured, we believe that Consumer Duty provided an opportunity and enabled us to further enhance our customer engagement, services and product offering.

How does Consumer Duty affect you?

Consumer Duty protects all of our customers therefore we see the impact to be a positive one.

The Duty will however have an impact on how the industry serves its customers, particularly those who are vulnerable or susceptible to detriment due to their personal circumstances.

Examples could include

  • Cost of living crisis impact with raising bills or job loss
  • You are grieving the loss of a loved one
  • You are unfamiliar with digital technology and unable to find online customer support to help you navigate at ease
  • You are coping with an ongoing chronic physical or mental health condition
  • You have a learning disorder

The above examples are not exclusive and vulnerability can look different to different people.

Everyone’s circumstances are unique which is why our Agents/ Advisers tailor their approach and provide support that is unique.

How can we help?

Our customers are firmly at the heart of Reassured as what we do matters by protecting many lives and families should the inevitable happens.

Our Agents/ Advisers are on hand to support you in finding the protection needs that suit your needs and demands, but also provide a service to you that’s unique.

We have many useful resources available that will help you understand the products and services we offer in more detail.

If you have any questions, concerns or just want to chat to one of our Agents/ Advisers about your protection needs, get in touch with us on 0808 239 3869.

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